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'What is the Iscsi node name?'-Iscsi  the fastest growing transport protocol for storage area networks (SANs)

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What is ISCSI  (or What are ISCSI SANs)?

''What is the ISCSI node name' - this plaintive data storage cry is nowadays frequently heard among SAN data center data storage professionals. However, the ISCSI transport protocol was almost unknown until a few years ago. Today, the ISCSI SAN has become the de-facto challenger to the  fibre channel protocol (FCP)  in the data storage SAN (storage area network) technologies.

What really is the ISCSI SAN protocol?

ISCSI is a transport protocol that lets you use SCSI SANs  over TCP networks. Thats the simplest data storage definition of ISCSI SANs we could come with

ISCSI protocol : The evolution of transport protocols in data storage networks- Why the cry 'What is the ISCSI node name' is about to become commonplace.

ISCSI vs Fibre Channel (FCP) protocol for SANs (storage area networks)

ISCSI easily scores over FCP when using low end servers and midrange servers for SAN technologies. Also the ease of use over TCP makes ISCSI SANs the preferred storage area networks over Fibre Channel SANs

The performance of ISCSI SANs almost matches the performance of Fibre Channel SANs while using large servers with high required input output performance and large database data transfers.

ISCSI SANs - some technological challenges

ISCSI SANs work on TCP which is byte stream protocol,while data storage transfers are typically associated with fixed length data transfers for standard data transfers. When transferring large amount of data, this byte stream feature of ISCSI results in inefficient data transfer resulting in additional buffer overheads in receiving nodes.

Solution to ISCSI SAN technological hurdles

The good news for ISCSI SANs is that new innovations in the form of markers within the TCP data stream are reducing this inefficiency of data storage transfers in high volume data transfers.

In summary, as ISCSI SAN technology continues to improve, there is no doubt that ISCSI SANs will become the industry standard replacing Fibre Channel SANs , and the question ' What is the ISCSI node name' will become fairly common.


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Last modified: December 12,2006